This season on Worst Cooks in America, 14 new hapless home cooks have joined the ranks to be mentored by chefs Tyler Florence and Anne Burrell. Split into the Blue Team and the Red Team, the recruits face new cooking challenges every week, gathering new cooking skills until just two finalists remain to face off in the last cook-off. That winner will walk away with $25,000 in cash, and his or her mentor will win bragging rights. Unfortunately, every week the two lowest-scoring recruits will be kicked out of Boot Camp. They lose the chance to win the prize money, but they leave with new skills learned from their mentors.
Every Sunday night, FN Dish has the exclusive interviews with the eliminated recruits, one from the Red Team and one from the Blue Team.
This week the recruits got to work on time management and multitasking. In the Skill Drill challenge, they were required to cook eggs four ways. Unfortunately doing four different cooking methods got Donna mixed up. Luckily she was able to plate all four eggs, unlike some of the other recruits. But when it came to the real test of multitasking in the Main Dish challenge, Donna fell apart. She mixed up the recipes for her four dishes, and eventually Anne had to intercede to straighten her out. Despite the help, Donna managed to complete only two dishes, although well. But it wasn’t enough to keep her out of the bottom, where she joined Chanda. Anne decided it was the end of the road for Donna.
Take us back to when you were eliminated. What was going through your mind, and how were you feeling in that moment?
Donna Koen: I was feeling sad because I knew I was one cook off from being a top chef in America. [laughs]
Did you ever think you’d make it this far in the competition, reaching the halfway point?
DK: No, because I only brought enough clothes to get through the first day since I knew I would go home first.
When you had to make four different egg dishes in the Skill Drill challenge, you seemed nervous. Can you describe what some of your difficulties were during that challenge?
DK: Cracking the egg, not dropping the egg, remembering the egg and never knowing that an egg had so much power over me.
Can you talk about some of the issues you were having during the Main Dish challenge in re-creating four Southeast Asian dishes? How did things get so mixed up?
DK: I don’t even know how to spell “multitasking,” never mind do it.
How was it being on Anne’s team? How was it working with her? You two had a touching, teary goodbye.
DK: Anne and I are soulmates. We instantly clicked — it was like the yin and the yang.
Is there a skill or maybe a piece of knowledge that you learned from her that you think you’ll use again?
DK: Brown food tastes good!
Thinking about the remaining members on your team (Nick, Taylor and Chanda), is there someone you think can make it to the end and has the potential to win?
Overall, how has the experience of the show been for you? What did it mean for you to be a part of it?
DK: It challenged me in my old age to feel young again.